My name's Pete Reece and Iím a Personal Resilience Coach, helping clients to make an ally of adversity. When I enrolled on the Personal Performance Diploma in 2010, my intention was to help other people achieve their goals and improve their well-being. One thing I didn't know was how crucial coaching was going to be in helping myself back to better health.

Discovering Coaching

After recovering from a long phase of illness between 2004 and 2008 when I was diagnosed with M.E./Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I decided I wanted to somehow make a profession out of supporting people through change, challenge and crisis. A friend persuaded me to take a look at life coaching and soon after, I found myself attending The Coaching Academy’s Foundation in Life Coaching course in Autumn 2010. I was intrigued and enrolled immediately for the Life and Personal Performance Diploma

Studying with TCA was an invigorating experience. I used to look forward to the live training, Accelerator Days, in Cheshire, interacting with both tutors and students. I learned and gained so much these days. The GROW model was fascinating in its own right but the parts of my study which really made me think and still stand out in my memory are the clients’ success strategies and becoming aware of the wealth of inner resources which we possess and often don’t admit to or are unaware of. After a wonderful set of learning experiences during 2011, I qualified with a Distinction in November of that year. 

My Health Deteriorates Again

Unfortunately, I realised during my course, that the M.E. or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome I thought I’d left behind was still there in the background and I remember attending one of the live training days which left me exhausted for days afterwards.

So, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise when my fragile health fell off a cliff in March 2012, leaving me devastated, frustrated and depressed.

The typical pattern for people with M.E./C.F.S. is one of slow improvement followed by relapse - and my experience was no different. After numerous setbacks, I started making progress when I began meditating in 2014. However, in April 2015 for a reason that I couldn’t put my finger on, I stopped meditating and couldn’t get the habit back.

Feeling Stuck

During this time when I wasn’t pursuing meditation, even though I knew it really helped me, I felt unsettled. I couldn’t underpin why I couldn’t maintain the habit. And this left me feeling really stuck.

Thankfully, I’d learned some good techniques, through my Personal Performance Diploma, to help people get unstuck. So, I decided to have a conversation with myself, using some of the coaching skills I’d developed four years earlier.

Keeping the questions flowing

What’s all that about?” I asked myself.

In the shower (no one can interrupt me there), I asked myself, “What do you think is stopping you from meditating?”

I don’t know,” I replied.

If you did know, what would you say”, I asked again.

I took a breath and realised that I knew the answer but didn’t want to verbalise it. “Because it doesn’t matter. I don’t matter. It doesn’t matter what I do, I don’t seem to get better.

My answers rocked me back on my heels. The one thing I had grown convinced could help me, I wasn’t doing because I perceived that there was no point.

Did I really think that?” I asked myself. 

It made me look more closely at my life and I asked myself another important question, “What do you want for your life?” and this is where the lack of confidence really hit because I just didn’t know. There didn’t seem to be any point in saying what I wanted because, in my mind, my future was pretty bleak.

The ‘Ah Ha’ Moment

Then came the bombshell question and answer which finally put me on the road to recovery. 

What don’t you want to happen?

Gosh, I knew the answer to that one straight away but the realisation rocked me back on my heels. 

I don’t want to be stuck in the house on my own, a forgotten member of society, feeling like a basket case, when my kids have left home.” 

(Pause to digest that shock to my system.)

However, after slowly and emotionally processing that bit of self-awareness, I knew how to reframe it into something more positive. I made a “health permitting” plan to re-start my coaching career (baby steps to begin with), re-start my blog and start earning some money to contribute to the family budget.

It gave me the incentive I needed to perform the habits and routines which I knew would help me recover. My health has since gone from strength to strength, culminating in taking up running in 2017 and completing the Wigan 10K later that year.

I feel so grateful for the skills I’d learned as a coach and that these skills have led to wonderful personal development experience. Having the ability to get myself unstuck helped me turn my life around and gave me a new start in life. I have experienced the powerful effects of coaching first-hand and know how it can transform the lives of people experiencing adversity. For me, this is what coaching is all about – the privilege of assisting someone in personal change.

Professionally, my recovery has given me the platform to start some pro-bono coaching to get me back in the saddle, to re-launch my blog and as of January this year, to start telling people, quite proudly, “I’m a Personal Resilience Coach.” 

Life feels for the first time in a while … unstuck.

If you would like to learn more about coaching, join us for our FREE Foundation in Life Coaching course

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